The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of work alienation on organisational commitment, work effort and work-to-family enrichment.Background
There is substantial research on the effects of work alienation on passive job performance, such as organisational commitment. However, studies analysing work alienation on active performance, such as work effort, and outside work, such as work-to-family enrichment, are scarce.Method
Two dimensions of work alienation are considered: powerlessness and meaninglessness. Hypotheses are tested using surveys collected among a national sample of midwives in the Netherlands (respondents: 790, response rate 61%).Result
the findings indicate that work alienation (powerlessness and meaninglessness) influence organisational commitment, work effort and – to a lesser extent – work-to-family enrichment. High work meaninglessness, in particular, has negative effects on these outcomes.Conclusion
When people feel that they have no influence in their work (hence, when they feel ‘powerless’) and especially when the feel that their work is not worthwhile (when they feel ‘meaningless’) this has substantial negative effects.Implications for nursing management
Managers should increase the meaningfulness that people attach to their work, thereby maintaining a high-quality workforce. Possible strategies include: (1) improving person–job fit, (2) developing high-quality relationships, (3) better communicating the results people help to deliver.